Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag hails two Man Utd stars after narrow victory at Fulham; discusses must-win Copenhagen game

Erik ten Hag, Man Utd

Erik ten Hag manages Man Utd in November 2023

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has praised Bruno Fernandes and Harry Maguire after his team beat Fulham 1-0 to get their season back on track.

Ten Hag has come under severe pressure this week after Man Utd lost 3-0 to both Manchester City and Newcastle United. TEAMtalk has been told that senior players have begun questioning his tactics, substitutions and transfers, while there have been reports either Zinedine Zidane or Ruben Amorim might replace him in the Old Trafford hot seat.

Another defeat against Fulham would have likely seen Man Utd enter crisis talks over their manager’s future. While the Red Devils did not put in a vintage display at Craven Cottage, they did manage to pick up all three points thanks to Fernandes’ right-footed strike in injury time.

In a post-match interview with Match of the Day (via BBC Sport), Ten Hag labelled Maguire’s strong defensive performance ‘great’ and also called Fernandes a ‘top player’ after his crucial goal.

“Two big defeats and then of course everyone is very unhappy. That is definitely not the standards we wanted to achieve. We wanted to improve and get a reaction and I think we saw a reaction. A good result and we are happy with it,” he said.

“Harry Maguire showed a great performance, great leadership but there were more on the pitch and it was a team. The spirit of the team, they fought for every yard, shoulder to shoulder. We have to show it every game. We have seen an improve today and we have to continue this.

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“It is always about moments. Players have to realise that. This is the right answer to give. You have to focus on the one moment and top players are doing that and Bruno Fernandes is a top player. There is the demand to do it in every game.”

Man Utd must now prepare for an important Champions League group match against Copenhagen on Wednesday night. When asked if that clash is a must-win, the Dutchman replied: “We always have to win, doesn’t matter who the opposition is. We have to prepare that and do the same things. Copenhagen are a good side.”

Man Utd captain admits situation ‘not the best’

In a post-match interview with TNT Sports, match-winner Fernandes said: “Everyone knows the situation is not the best, we lost the last two games and it wasn’t the performances we wanted to give or the results but today it was a different game.

“We had to give something different and we delivered. We got the three points and that’s the most important thing.

“It’s about the team, what everyone does on the pitch. Everyone has to sacrifice, run, work harder. Even on the goal, you could see everyone working hard to get the ball and that’s what makes the goal.

“It was a good performance. We could create more chances but we still had good chances. First half, we had control of the game, second half was more divided game but I think the biggest chances were always on our side and I think we deserved the win.

“It has to build confidence but we have to understand that we can still do more. Understand now that it is about getting results every time we play.

“Champions League is important for us to get three points. Difficult game away this week but we are Man Utd and we have to win every game.”

Meanwhile, a sensational report has claimed Sir Jim Ratcliffe will sack Ten Hag, with the potential new Man Utd owner deciding on his ideal next manager.